A bylaw that was passed in June is coming into effect this October 1st. It's a change that blindsided veterans and people with disabilities, who will be most affected by the change.
Previously the groups didn't have to plug downtown parking meters. Now, they are receiving warnings of the bylaw and aren't too happy with the change.
Traffic Bylaw No. 5556, which involves the City's parking meters, was one of the many traffic bylaw changes that the Transportation Services Advisory Committee suggested changing. Unlike the other bylaws that they wanted to change, this one wasn't discussed with residents, and the bylaw wasn't involved in any of the online questionnaires they devised.
Turns out, this also wasn't discussed within City Council either.
"The meters piece was missing from all that discussion," City Councillor Chris Warren said. "So basically once the traffic bylaw [changes] went through the various revisions in the Committee, it went through various discussions in Council chambers. When it was passed, that piece was never discussed as one of the changes."
Councillor Warren also sits on the Transportation Services Advisory Committee. He believes that the change may have been caused after the last time the traffic bylaw was updated, which was outdated and hard to read. As a result they are trying to figure out when that change was made, and whether it was an oversight or a decision that was made and not brought forward.
"In my opinion, without having all of the information at the moment, I believe it was an oversight," Warren said. "Something that obviously we, you know, if that information would have been known, we would have wanted to have those discussions, get feedback from the public and the community because those are changes that affect a lot of people."
Warren added that any significant change like this is something he would want community feedback and further discussions on.
At this time, Councillor Warren says the change is something they need to have further discussions about, possibly discussing with Council and the Committee about what the next steps are.
"We just ask for everyone's patience as we work through this process, and we'll make sure we discuss and get feedback with the community as we make any changes or discuss any possible changes in the future."